- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

MONTICELLO, Minn. (AP) - Federal regulators will continue increased oversight at Xcel Energy’s Monticello nuclear plant after a security issue was found.

The St. Cloud Times (http://on.sctimes.com/1EQvPjM ) reports issues that led to the problem spotted in the last quarter of 2014 have been resolved. The improvements were found in two recent inspections, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory commission said.

Those improvements mean the commission won’t move the Monticello plant into a category of plants with the most serious performance issues, as the commission said would normally happen without changes.

Details of the violation were not released by the commission, but it called the problem a “greater than green” security finding. Green translates to an issue of very low safety significance and is the lowest rating on the commission’s color-coded scale.

The federal commission stepped up inspections in 2013 after it found that the Monticello plant wasn’t ready for worst-case flooding along the Mississippi River.

Pete Gardner, the plant’s vice president, said the security issue was found by plant workers, who corrected it and notified federal regulators.

The plant is committed to making safety improvements, Gardner said.

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Information from: St. Cloud Times, http://www.sctimes.com

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